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Frequently Asked Camper Questions

Camper FAQ's

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Camper Life | Financial AssistanceRegistration Process | Requesting Roommates | Activities | Health and Wellness | Camp Store


Camper Life at HoneyRock

We employ solid Christian leaders with years of professional experience and academic training to guide this ministry, who hire incredibly gifted and passionate counselors who have a heart for ministry and deep love for the Lord. After an extensive application process, all counselors go through four weeks of intense training led by HoneyRock’s full-time professional staff and a variety of college professors who are experts in child development and working with young people. During this training period, which is much longer than industry norms, counselors take academic classes related to camp ministry, learn wilderness trip skills, become Red Cross certified in First Aid, CPR and water safety, and learn how to create Bible studies and devotional times applicable to young people. The strength of our camp comes from God being placed first in all that we do, a strong sense of tradition, a mindset focused on safety, and the development of an unbelievably fun environment. Camp is focused on individual attention and building one-on-one relationships. We pull these components together to deliver a camp experience unlike any other. 

By hiring such gifted staff, we're able to run a "decentralized" model of camp.  We do almost all of our Bible teaching and activity instruction in small groups. We feel campers learn and grow the most in a small group, like a family, where they can receive maximum attention from their counselors, feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts, and be more willing to try new things. Our mission is to reach every camper and connect with him or her in a real way, providing a unique experience away from home. Our true emphasis is placed on the individual camper and his/her growth in a small group setting.

Our typical ratio is four campers to one staff person. Occasionally, it is slightly more or slightly less.

HoneyRock is not part of one church denomination. Wheaton College, the organization that owns and operates HoneyRock, is a non-denominational, evangelical Christian organization. For further reading: Wheaton College's Statement of Faith

Each Sunday, we hold a worship service at HoneyRock for campers, students, and staff. This service is Christian and evangelical, but is non-denominational and ecumenical in the songs, activities, teaching, and prayers. 

Wheaton College, one of the leading Christian liberal arts colleges in the country, has owned and operated HoneyRock since 1951. College professors who teach at HoneyRock each summer assess programs and guide staff in areas of psychology, Christian education, physical education, and Bible and Theology. The professional staff of Wheaton College also coordinates HoneyRock’s health services, risk management, legal, financial, and human resource departments. 

HoneyRock is registered with the state of Wisconsin and passes inspection each year in order to operate. HoneyRock is also a member of the Christian Camp and Conference Association. Although not a member, HoneyRock meets or exceeds most of the guidelines set by the American Camp Association.

We do not allow visits while your child is in a summer camp program at HoneyRock, even in the case of homesickness. We have found that seeing parents in the middle of a camp session, especially for younger campers, is disruptive to their experience especially when the camper is homesick.

  • This includes parents who are renting cabins at HoneyRock while their child is in camp.
  • Parents of campers in high school programs can visit their child during any of the Family Days.

It is important for your child to fully engage in his/her HoneyRock experience, which means allowing him/her to put some distance between you. Campers that are dependent on calling their parents while at camp are unable to participate in the full HoneyRock experience because they are more focused on what is going on at home than on what they are actually experiencing while at camp. For this reason, we do not allow campers to have cell phones.

Campers (except for those in Catalyst) are not allowed time on the phone to make or receive calls. If you wish to communicate with your child, the best way to do so is by writing letters or by sending one-way emails that are available for purchase on the registration portal. We encourage campers to write letters home, and we give them time to write letters. 

If there is an emergency and you need to get in touch with your child, please call 715.479.7474 and the receptionist can help you. If you call after business hours a detailed message will instruct you on how to reach someone. 

If your child is part of an in-camp program they will stay in a log cabin that has electricity. Cabins do not have running water or their own bathrooms; instead, we use a centralized bathhouse or, as they are called here at camp, a BIF (Bathroom in the Forest). Each BIF has 10-12 private showers with space to change clothes and 10-12 private toilets, sinks, and mirrors. The water is heated as well.

HoneyRock runs girls and boys camp sessions at the same time. However, the majority of our programming is separated by gender. Boys and girls are housed separately and have separate bathrooms. Boys and girls will be together at meals and at some activity times. Bible teaching, campouts, and small group activities are all done separately. We don’t have any boy-girl dance nights or formal banquets at HoneyRock.

At HoneyRock, we believe that it is important to represent ourselves in a way that honors Christ. Our staff adheres to a modest dress code in order to set an example for our campers. We do not permit staff or campers to wear spaghetti-strap tank tops, mini-skirts, or short shorts. (Shorts should not have less than a 3-inch inseam and should be around fingertip level when a camper is standing. Skin-tight yoga pants or leggings need to be covered with another article of clothing (long top, shorts, etc.) Girls may wear modest one-piece swimsuits or full-cover tankinis; boys may wear board shorts and should not bring speedos. At no time should undergarments of male or female staff or campers be showing, and we ask that staff and campers not wear t-shirts with inappropriate slogans or innuendo.


Financial Assistance at HoneyRock

Yes. Unfortunately our system cannot accommodate family applications for financial assistance at this time. Please complete the application for each camper.

Yes. Unfortunately, our system cannot accommodate family applications for the matching scholarship at this time. Please complete the form for each camper.

  • Register your camper for a summer program and pay the $150 deposit*
  • Complete the “Financial Assistance Application” in your camper’s registration
  • Once the application is complete, look for an email within one month sharing the scholarship amount.

If the financial assistance you receive is not enough and you must cancel your registration, your $150 deposit is returned in full.

  • Register your camper for a summer program and pay the deposit
  • Complete the “Camper Matching Scholarship” step found in your camper’s registration
  • Complete “Camper Matching Scholarship Questionnaire” as soon as possible, but by April 15. Your Camper Matching Scholarship will be awarded within one month of receiving your completed Camper Matching Questionnaire. Your Camper Matching Scholarship application is NOT complete without the Questionnaire submission.
  • Wait one month as we review the form and process the information for the matched amount to be reflected on your bill.

Here’s how to edit the information: 

  • Log in to your account
  • Navigate to your dashboard and click “Registrations” to view registrations.
  • Click the registration you would like to edit
  • Select “Financial Assistance Application”
  • Make any changes to the form and click “save”.

Please notify us by email at honeyrock.register@wheaton.edu of changes you have made if it is after you have already been awarded Financial Assistance.

Once you click save, the changes will automatically update in our system and we will be in touch with you regarding any additional scholarship options.

 

Our goal this year is to turn around financial assistance applications within one month. This is a change from previous years, where we shared this information with all camper families on May 15th, regardless of when the application was first submitted.

We guarantee the camper matching scholarship for all applicants upon completion of the Camper Matching Scholarship application. Funds will be applied to your account within one month of submitting the form

Yes! Unless you complete the Camper Matching Scholarship after April 15, you can plan with certainty about receiving from HoneyRock the amount your camper contributes.

Yes! We set aside reserve funds to allocate after these deadlines. Follow the same steps (noted above) and we will process your applications.


Registration Process

Yes, you can access your account and click "View Registration Itineraries" at any time to review your registration, edit information, make payments, and review your Beehive account.

Contact the Camper Registration Assistant at honeyrock.register@wheaton.edu, for assistance, if necessary.

  1. Log In to Your Account
  2. Click on your initials in the top right corner
  3. Select "Edit Profile"

You will then see where you can change your password. You will need to be able to provide your current password in order to change it.

You may add money to or review your Beehive account by accessing your account and clicking "View Registration Itineraries". Please indicate your Beehive deposit amount on your registration form, and it will be added to your bill. 

  1. Log into your account
  2. Click on your initials in the top right corner of your screen
  3. Select "My Dashboard"
  4. Find the registration you would like to add money to
  5. Select "Store Card"
  6. Click "EDIT"
  7. Enter the funds you would like to add*

A few notes about the funds:

  • The funds are cumulative. If you already have $60 in your account and you type in $30, your camper will have access to $90 on your store card.
  • To reduce the funds, submit a requestWe are only able to reduce funds if they have not yet been spent.
  1. Log into your account
  2. Click your initials in the top right corner
  3. Select "My Dashboard"
  4. Review the Registration Item List
    • Green Check Mark: means the section has been completed*
    • Red Triangle means the section is incomplete
    • Neither Green Check nor Red Triangle means the section is not required unless it applies to you; for example
      • Financial Assistance is an optional section unless you want to apply for financial assistance (which is encouraged!)
      • Pre Orders are optional unless you want to order something to be delivered to your camper's cabin on their arrival day
      • Activities are optional unless your camper wants to participate in horsemanship, waterskiing, or ceramics
      • etc...

*We do still recommend double-checking the completed sections about a week before sending your camper to HoneyRock. Plans can change (especially transportation!) between the time you registered and your camper's departure from home. 


Roommates at HoneyRock

While we understand it can be more comfortable for some campers (especially for younger ones or first-timers) to room with someone they know, we’ve found those who do come without requesting a roommate gain valuable skills that are useful for a lifetime. Your camper will have great opportunities to practice making and nurturing new friendships and learning how to enjoy all of his or her new cabin family.

Guidelines:

  • Campers wishing to be in the same cabin must already be registered
  • Campers must be no more than one grade apart
  • We limit the request link to three campers

 

Siblings will not be automatically assigned to the same cabin. If you would like your children to be in the same cabin, you need to complete the Roommate Request steps as part of your registration process.

As a reminder, we cannot honor roommate requests made less than 3 weeks before the program begins.

 

Before you begin the roommate request process, you will need to know:

  • the first and last name of the requested camper
  • the parent’s/guardian’s HoneyRock account email address

HoneyRock is unable to provide this information due to confidentiality laws.

After you've registered and paid the deposit for your camper, follow the steps below to reach the Roommate Request Form.

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Click on your initials in the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select "My Dashboard"
  4. Find the registration you would like to request roommates for
  5. Select "Roommate Request"

To Request a Roommate

  1. Enter the camper's first and last name
  2. Enter the camper's email
  3. Click "Request Roommate"

For Three Campers

The maximum number of campers that can be linked as roommates is three. This helps mitigate cliques in cabins. If you have four campers who want to be roommates, we recommend having them pair up.

  1. Two campers (Camper A, Camper B) must first complete and accept the roommate request offer.
  2. The third camper (Camper C) can send a roommate request to either Camper A or Camper B. Make sure you complete the form and accept the request.

After you've registered and paid the deposit for your camper, follow the steps below to reach the Roommate Request Form.

  1. Sign in to your account
  2. Click on your initials in the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select "My Dashboard"
  4. Find the registration you would like to request roommates for
  5. Select "Roommate Request"

To Accept a Roommate Request

  1. Receive an email with a request code
  2. Enter the Request Code
  3. Click "Accept Request" and "Save"

Activities

Activities are a significant part of the HoneyRock experience! We have 14 activity areas - 

  • Archery
  • Swimming
  • Wilderness Skills
  • Rock Climbing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Riflery
  • Mountain Biking
  • Crafts
  • Drama
  • Waterskiing*
  • Ceramics*
  • Horsemanship*
  • Challenge Course**

*These activities require an additional sign-up and fee during registration.
**Challenge Course elements are not associated with our activity area progression but is an area 8-12th-grade campers enjoy during their time at HoneyRock.

For our 12-Day Residential and Advance Campers: Horsemanship, ceramics, and waterskiing* are available during the registration process for an extra fee. When you sign up for one of these three activities during registration, your camper is guaranteed at least five sessions. Horsemanship participants are guaranteed five sessions with at least half of those hours on a horse. 

For 2:22 Campers: If your 2:22 camper wants to continue working on a skill progression all activities are available on a limited basis at no extra charge. If your camper wishes to continue work on their skill progression, coach them to inform their counselor on the first day of their camp session.

HoneyRock takes water safety very seriously. Swimming is only allowed in one area at HoneyRock. During swimming hours we have trained lifeguards on duty.

When campers are enjoying other waterfront activities (water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and on the water trampoline) they must wear a life jacket. For deep-water activities, campers are required to have passed their swimming test.

Upon arrival, all campers will take a supervised swimming test in the HoneyRock swim area. Campers must swim non-stop and without touching the bottom about thirty yards of a forward stroke variation and thirty yards of a backstroke variation.

  • Does my camper have to take the swim test? No. Your camper camp opt out of the swim test by talking to their cabin leader. If you think your camper might want or need to opt-out, coach them to talk with their cabin leader. 
  • When does the swim test happen? We run the swim test for all campers on their arrival day. 

  • Can my camper re-take the swim test? YES! We really encourage campers to come back to swimming during one of their activity periods to retake the test or to work with our Swim Instructor who can teach them more about swimming and the techniques needed to pass the test. We love seeing campers come back to work on their swim test and encouraging them along the way.
  • What if the weather is bad on the swimming test day? We will run the swim test unless it is thundering and/or lightning. It's a very high priority for our team to know who can and cannot pass the swim test. At the first available time, we will run the swim test for your campers.
  • What if my camper can't swim? That's okay! Campers can opt-out of the swim test, though they will not be allowed to participate in deep-water activities including the outer swim area, water trampoline, water skiing, or kayaking. Campers who have failed or chosen not to take the swim test are allowed to canoe.
  • What if my camper starts to struggle in the middle of the swim test? We have lifeguards stationed throughout the test area both in and out of the water to watch campers as they complete their test. If a camper is struggling, the lifeguard will come alongside the camper to check-in and provide assistance if necessary.

At HoneyRock campers spend 3-4+ hours in activity areas every day they’re at camp. In addition to being fun and developing life-long skills, we see activity areas as a key formational element.

All activity areas offer an award progression system. At each level campers work towards, with the help of activity leaders and their fellow campers, checking off skills. As they work towards mastery, campers are setting goals, building discipline, developing their identity, gaining confidence and learning how to fail well. 

This helps campers set goals and develop the discipline of working toward reaching them. It also helps campers develop specific hard skills that will hopefully last a lifetime. Below is general information about each award level – Basic, Intermediate, and Master.

This really depends on your camper! With hard work and diligence, campers can generally achieve their Basic in one camp session. The Intermediate level takes 1-2 camp sessions and earning a Master’s usually takes an additional session or two after the Intermediate level is achieved.

Please keep in mind these are estimates. The difficulty of the levels vary slightly from activity to activity and the time to complete each level will differ from camper to camper. 

Basic

  • Foundational elements of the activity
  • Safety principles and procedures
  • Basic knowledge and nomenclature

To Receive a Basic: campers will be tested by an activity leader.

Intermediate

  • Show strong proficiency in the activity
  • Intermediate knowledge and nomenclature
  • Test for a solid understanding of the mechanics, techniques, and general maintenance of any associated equipment of the activity

To receive an Intermediate: campers will be tested by the head instructor of the activity area.

Masters

  • Shows expertise in the required skills
  • Able to repair common problems with any equipment related to the area
  • Assists in teaching a fellow camper basic level skills
  • In tripping-related areas (ex: wilderness skills, canoeing) – camper displays mastery of the related skills

To receive a Masters: campers will be tested by a professional staff member who has expertise in that activity area.


Camp Store - "The Beehive"

The Beehive is our camp store that offers a variety of items such as snacks, clothes, basic personal supplies, cards and stamps, souvenirs, and more on a pre-paid account basis. 

The Beehive has expanded online! You can explore our online store here.

You may add money to or review your Beehive account by accessing your account and clicking "View Registration Itineraries". Please indicate your Beehive deposit amount on your registration form, and it will be added to your bill. 

  1. Log into your account
  2. Click on your initials in the top right corner of your screen
  3. Select "My Dashboard"
  4. Find the registration you would like to add money to
  5. Select "Store Card"
  6. Click "EDIT"
  7. Enter the funds you would like to add*

A few notes about the funds:

  • The funds are cumulative. If you already have $60 in your account and you type in $30, your camper will have access to $90 on your store card.
  • To reduce the funds, submit a requestWe are only able to reduce funds if they have not yet been spent.

Our point of sale system is connected to your camper's account. When you register your camper, we automatically pre-fill their account with a minimum amount. We recommend $30 per week of camp to be deposited into your camper’s account. 

This money is also used for crafts your child may make in the craft shop.

Unused balances will be refunded to parents in the fall. At the end of the session, balances under $10 will not be refunded but will be deposited into our camper scholarship fund.


Health and Wellness

Each summer we hire a full-time Wisconsin licensed nurse (RN) and a nurse assistant. There is also a doctor on-site at camp all summer long to care for campers. The closest hospital is only 20 minutes away. Additionally, we routinely have certified Wilderness First Responders on staff.

  • If your child has a minor injury or illness that can be easily treated with items from our "self-help" desk, we will not notify you. If your child is sick or hurt and needs to see a doctor, go to the hospital, or begin taking a prescription, we will notify you immediately.
  • If your child is homesick, we follow a response plan geared towards getting them adjusted to their new environment. If, after 2-3 days, they're still struggling, we will contact you about how your camper is doing and consider the next steps with We hesitate to have your camper talk with you directly as it more often than not prolongs and aggregates the homesickness.

 

Your child should plan to stay on his/her prescription medication while at camp. Campers should bring their medications with them when they come to bus check-in or when they are dropped off here at HoneyRock. As a reminder, please have all medication information inputted into your camper’s registration prior to arrival as this will streamline our check in processes. Medications will be taken and stored by our nursing staff. State laws do not allow campers to have medications or to medicate themselves while at camp. Your child will receive their medication from our nurses, typically at meal times. The nursing staff will follow the specific guidelines on the prescription. We assure you that all medications are kept confidential and campers are never singled out or embarrassed about taking medications. During a wilderness trip counselors or trip leaders will dispense the medications.

 

Each summer there are campers who have not been away from home very much and they become homesick. This is totally normal and our staff is trained to identify homesickness and deal with it in a positive way. 

We find that the best way to prevent homesickness is to help prepare your child for camp. Begin by praying with and for your child about his/her camp experience, being sure to include his/her counselors or trip leaders. Set goals for camp with your child such as: make a new friend, achieve a certain activity award, become a Solid Rock Club member, etc. Let your child know how excited you are that s/he is going to have this experience at camp.

It is okay for your child to know that you will miss him or her, but be sure to communicate your excitement for your child. Explain what they will be doing, where they will sleep, how the bathrooms work, what is different, what is fun, etc. Also, we encourage campers to spend a night or two (or more) at a friend’s house, or Grandma and Grandpa’s house (without mom or dad) before coming to camp. If a child’s first night away from mom and dad happens at camp, then homesickness is more likely to occur. 

That being said, if a child becomes homesick, our staff is highly trained to deal with it effectively.

In our 60+ years of experience, we have found that letting a child call home when they are homesick does not alleviate homesickness, and in fact, it really makes things worse. Calling home is a last resort and it typically results in a child requesting to come home and mom or dad picking them up from camp the next morning. 

HoneyRock is owned and operated by Wheaton College. Our Health Center and Risk Management procedures are all guided by Wheaton College. You can visit the Wheaton's Student Health Services to learn more.

Family Day is the best way to maximize your investment in HoneyRock. It will allow you to experience firsthand what your child has been experiencing while at camp. It is also a great opportunity to connect with other HoneyRock families and make new friends! Visit our Family Day page for more details. 

  • For everyone's safety, please do NOT bring your dog/pet to Family Day. Thank you for helping us uphold this policy. 
  • HoneyRock is "a place apart." We ask people not to use their cell phones in the main areas of camp. While we understand that your work may require you to be accessible by cell phone, please take advantage of this opportunity to unplug a little and fully engage in the HoneyRock experience.